JOHN McGinlay can see why a move to Reading might appeal to Phil Parkinson.

Speculation over the manager’s future continues on the eve of Wanderers’ home game against Leeds United, even though the Royals are yet to make any official move.

Sources close to the club claim Royals CEO Nigel Howe is beating the drum for Parkinson to make a return to the Madejski Stadium – but the input of agent Kia Joorbachian is making the appointment of a foreign coach more likely at this point in time.

Parkinson has had to content with some critics during a two-and-a-half year run – making him the longest-serving incumbent since Sam Allardyce.

But Bolton legend McGinlay reckons that if Reading were to test the water with an approach for his services, that most fans would show gratitude for the job he has done in difficult circumstances.

“I think if he were to go to Reading then Bolton fans would thank him for the work he’s done keeping the club afloat and the dignified way he’s gone about his business,” he told The Bolton News.

“He has obviously got a history with the club and some of the people there so you can see why it could be an option.

“I think he’s been a bit of a firefighter through his career and he’s got a lot of experience, albeit most of it has been in the lower echelons of the league.

“There’s no question, though, that he’s had a very tough gig at Bolton so far.”

Reading are level on points with Wanderers but McGinlay reasons a higher playing budget, or potentially more money to spend in January, could be an attractive lure to the Madejski Stadium.

“Reading are in a similar sort of position to ourselves – and for Bolton it’s certainly all about survival now in the league.

“You might look at Reading and say they have got a bit more to offer, financially. I don’t know what he’d have to play with but after working with the budget here at Bolton you’d expect it would be higher.

“There isn’t a massive difference between the squads, if you ask me, but you can see why they might want to bring him back and get them safe, get them organised."

Wanderers' performances have improved during some testing times, as cashflow issues forced the late payment of November salaries.

The team pulled together to run Norwich City close at Carrow Road last weekend, scoring twice in the same game since the start of September.

Parkinson has come in for stick at times this season, however, and McGinlay can sympathise with some of the disapproval.

“It has been difficult to watch a times," he said. "It’s a style of football which, without being disrespectful, is fine when you are winning games and scoring goals. But when you are not, it becomes difficult. And I don’t think the pay problems will help with that.”